Opposition accused of carrying out media trial of government

The government team, negotiating terms of references (ToRs) with the opposition for the proposed judicial commission to probe into Panama Papers leaks, on Monday accused the joint opposition to have resorted to media trial of the government through baseless allegations.

Talking to reporters after the joint opposition’s press conference, Federal Ministers including Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Zahid Hamid and Anusha Rehman lashed out at the opposition for what they said media trial of the government on the pretext of Panama papers, adding that th opposition parties were targeting the Prime Minister without any justification.

Referring to the proposals put forwarded by the joint opposition for consensus ToRs, Saad Rafiq said that the 15 questions of opposition were not ToRs while government was ready to amend the law of 1956.

He maintained that opposition representatives in the parliamentary committee on Panama Papers tried to include the name of Prime Minister in ToRs without any justification, adding that the opposition was acting like a judge.

“Nobody can dictate others in democracy…favourable results cannot be achieved at gunpoint,” he added. He clarified that the government was neither backtracking from its earlier stance nor it wants delay in process.

We are still ready to move forward in a professional manner. But it should be left to the court as to who it wants to probe first,” he added.

He stated that certain individuals intend to be the complainant and the judge at the same time.

Rafiq said although he had political differences with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari but he admitted that Zardari believed in reconciliation and hoped that PPP would not take any step that would endanger democracy.

He further stated that PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan will not be influenced by ideas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan or Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.

He stated that Jamaat-e-Islami should play its role in reducing differences between the political parties instead of misleading the nation over the ToRs.

He also pointed out an alleged rift among the opposition parties, saying certain parties were not ready to be blackmailed by others.

Speaking on the occasion, Zahid Hamid said the inquiry commission will act under Supreme Court and nobody else but the court will decide the questions for investigations.

He said government stance on Panama papers was quite clear and it will follow the procedure laid down under Law and the Constitution. “Those who possess offshore companies will be investigated indiscriminately,” he added.

Rejecting the opposition’s demand, he said that special law cannot be introduced to cater every inquiry, adding the government was ready to make changes in the law of 1956. -Business Recorder